An article in the Daily Star discussing the recent donation of more than 60 paintings by early 20th century Lebanese artists to the American University in Beirut . This is great news for the region! It is one of the Middle East’s most significant contributions of a private collection to the general public. This is one of the first steps in Lebanon to create a public space where anyone can appreciate art outside of a commercial space. This space will allow the public to become more aware of some of Lebanon’s most beautiful artworks. This is another positive step in Beirut’s flourishing art scene.
“The American University of Beirut announced Thursday that it has secured a donation of over 60 paintings, most from the early 20th century and more than 30 of them by the renowned Lebanese artist Khalil Saleeby (1870-1928). The collection, which has never been exhibited to the public, has been donated by a distant relative of Saleeby. Khalil Saleeby is regarded to be among Lebanon’s earliest impressionists, and thus a founder of modern art in Lebanon. He studied, worked and exhibited in Edinburgh, Paris and the U.S. as well as in Lebanon. He knew and was influenced by such significant European artists as John Singer Sargent, Pierre Cecile Puvis de Chavannes and Pierre Auguste Renoir.
““We are also proud to have practicing artists amongst our students, faculty and alumni. This collection forms a vital part of Lebanon’s and the Arab world’s cultural heritage and we consider it a privilege to preserve and promote it for the benefit of future generations. Not only will the collection enable a public art exhibition but it will also serve as a unique resource for students, researchers and art specialists.”” (from the article cited below)
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